Advertising & Marketing

At the Federal Trade Commission’s July 1 meeting, it finalized a new “Made in USA” Rule that was almost two decades in the making. The FTC issued a notice of proposed rulemaking in June 2020 and received 700 comments from stakeholders. During that time, the FTC has aggressively policed Made in USA claims (through an enforcement policy statement), settling a historic, million dollar follow-on Made in USA enforcement action and obtaining a six-figure settlement with an online retailer.
Continue Reading FTC Finalizes “Made in USA” Rule in Partisan Split

Gennex Media LLC, a customizable product online marketplace, and its sole officer and shareholder Akil Kurji, have agreed to an FTC consent decree resolving allegations the company falsely claimed its Brandnex novelty products were “Made in USA,” “USA MADE,” and “Manufactured Right Here in America!” when, in many instances, they were wholly imported from China.
Continue Reading Retailers Beware: “You can’t say your products are made in the USA when [they are] made elsewhere.”

The FTC settled charges with mobile advertising company Tapjoy, Inc., on allegations that the company failed to provide promised rewards in exchange for completed activities such as the payment of money, disclosure of sometimes-sensitive personal information, or registration for “free trial” marketing offers.
Continue Reading FTC Pursues Advertising Network that Failed to Deliver In-Game Rewards in Exchange for Payment or Personal Information

Two putative class actions recently filed in the Northern District of California preview a new theory of consumer claims relating to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances. Rather than rely on alleged omissions or representations about health risks, the plaintiffs claim that they relied on marketing statements that indicated the products they purchased were disposable and would completely degrade over time and that the presence of PFAS in the products means those marketing statements were false.
Continue Reading Is a Wave of PFAS Consumer Class Actions on the Horizon?

The National Advertising Division has recommended that Factor Nutrition Labs, LLC, discontinue its claim that its Focus Factor brain health supplement is “America’s #1 Clinically Studied and Patented Brain Health Formula.” NAD’s decision follows a challenge by Quincy BioScience, Inc., the maker of Prevagen brain health dietary supplement.
Continue Reading Making an Unsubstantiated Brain Health Claim? Think Again.

Responding to a challenge from Align Technology, Inc., maker of Invisalign, the National Advertising Division recommended that SmileDirectClub modify certain of its comparative advertising claims, while finding that others were sufficiently substantiated.
Continue Reading NAD Recommends SmileDirectClub Straighten Out Some of its Aligner Advertising Claims

On April 21, the FTC announced a record-setting $9.3 million settlement with online retailer Fashion Nova for violating the decades-old Mail Order Rule by failing to meet advertised shipping times and failing to adequately compensate consumers affected by the delays.
Continue Reading Will It Still be “In” When It Gets Here? Online Fashion Retailer Agrees to Largest Ever Settlement for Slow Deliveries

On April 3, 2020, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and leading retailers participated in a conference call to discuss ways to protect American consumers from fraudulent COVID-19 disinfectant product claims. As the pandemic continues to wage on, some manufacturers have started to advertise their products as effective against the virus despite a lack of scientific evidence supporting the claim. Such advertising violates federal law and potentially endangers consumer health and the environment, and could expose retailers to liability.
Continue Reading Retailers Working with EPA to Protect Consumers from Fraudulent COVID-19 Disinfectant Claims

Williams-Sonoma, Inc., has agreed to pay $1 million to the FTC in settlement of claims that the home furnishing company made false and unsubstantiated representations that certain products were made in the United States. In its complaint, the FTC alleged that Williams-Sonoma—also doing business as Pottery Barn, West Elm, Rejuvenation, Outward, Mark & Graham and other brands—deceptively claimed that the company’s Goldtouch Bakeware products, Rejuvenation-branded products and Pottery Barn Teen- and Pottery Barn Kids-branded upholstered furniture were made in the USA. In reality, many of these products were wholly imported or contained significant imported materials.
Continue Reading Home Furnishings Retailer to Pay FTC $1 Million to Settle “Made in the USA” Claims